Returning to my country of birth after 41 Years of absence was a major factor on my decision to adventure Southern Africa. Having an indescribable exciting and mind-blowing journey in previously visited countries so far, how could Namibia top all this? Talking to fellow travelers I met on my journey, everyone was simply amazed by Namibia’s own desert beauty.
Anxiously, I crossed into Namibia from ‘Ngomo bridge’ border post. This was the least busy and my last border crossing on this adventure. A young man waved me over outside the immigration building, holding a handheld, laser operated thermometer in his hand, pointing at my head. ‘I come in peace ’, I joked, holding my hands up. ‘Temperature is good, you can fill in this form and go inside’ he replied without smiling. Ok! Maybe he heard that before? A carton box had small boxes of condoms for him and her, as well as educational booklets about H.I.V. A welcoming gift to Namibia? Without a doubt the most peculiar.
The immigration officer wasn’t in a happy mood either. I picked up lots of negative vibes all around. Not exactly the happy ‘welcome back’ greeting I would have liked. ‘5 weeks in Namibia? Are you going to be working here?’ He forcefully asked. No, just traveling I replied. ‘You were born in Windhoek and hold a German passport! Are you sure you are not working here?’ His voice was even more abrupt. ‘Yes, I am sure I won’t be working here’.
He mumbled on behind his bulletproof glass, which I couldn’t understand much of. ‘If you want to communicate and me to understand what you are saying, you need to speak up officer!’ I said a little annoyed. ‘I remember faces well and if I catch you working in Namibia, you will go to jail’ he eventually came out with. What a charming welcome this is I thought. ‘Good luck with that’, I replied. I earn 4 times as much at home then I would here. Namibia can’t afford to pay my services. So please explain why I would want to work here?!’ I arrogantly replied. He eventually stamped my passport and after paying my road tax at a different, just as friendly counter, I was on my way on Namibian desert soil. It was a strange feeling.
After a more or less quick stopover at Katima police station to report Zimba’s lost license plate, I drove on to ’Caprivi Boathouse and Camp’. I needed to get my bearings about Namibia before moving on any further.
Situated on the Zambezi River with lovely plantation and 5 dogs, I was guided to my campground. The young Scotsman assistant must have been busy as he quickly pointed out ablutions. ‘We don’t care much about campers’ he said as he walked off. ‘Ok then’ I thought, this really isn’t my day today. Or is this a normal day in Namibia? I really hope not. Sitting on the bar porch overlooking the Zambezi, I spent my evening on the Internet. It really is peaceful here.
A pigeon was busy building a nest. Its spring time and everything springs into life.
It was actually really cute to watch how it returned with a single tiny twig in its beak.
After a quick patch up, it flew out again to return with another twig. I could just imagine the partner throwing them out again. Too big. Too small.
The mood improved immensely the next day. About a dozen adults, two kids, and 7 dogs boarded a vessel for a relaxing afternoon on a sandbank in the Zambezi River.
Hurry up, skip!, Katima Mulilo, Namibia
Max the Terrier kept his cool, while the other dogs patiently waited to arrive.
The two Italian brothers almost beat the dogs to it, if they had longer legs. Esky with refreshments and a football were carried on, but my guess was, who would spend more time in these shallow waters? Dogs or kids?
It really was a tight match between them and I didn’t know what to focus on with my OM-D. The lower setting sun over a mirror-like Zambezi River gave me plenty of options.
The 4 Germans just chilled in the shallow waters. Good on them. That would have been my preferred option if I didn’t have my camera in my hand. Max the terrier ran off straight away to chase the wading birds.
Most of the dogs followed him. Great Dane Cesar didn’t care much about the water and stayed with the ball kicking crowd. Mistreated rescue dog Shaka handed me a stick to throw.
Against the mirror waters of the Zambezi, I was hoping for some splashing action. But that really didn’t happen much.
Sitting in knee-deep waters, staring at the stick, until I threw it again. How cute.
The two sausage dogs belonging to Laura and Simonie came to help. Like a two-tailed submarine, they tackled the shallows.
With legs that close to the ground, the mission was aborted.
Meanwhile, not far off, brothers Riccardo and Eduardo made the most off the splashing opportunity.
Back and forth, forth and back.
Chasing each other, splashing each other, wrestling each other.
What a spectacle to watch. Boys are boys, nothing more, nothing less.
Like the ‘Duracell rabbit’, they just kept going and going. And going.
It really was hard to keep up with them in front of that sun setting beam. Knowing they be running back this way again at sooner or later, I just waited for that moment.
Against a setting sun on a clear break mirror reflection, the photo option was just too good to be missed.
Even without splashing kids or dogs, it was an orange ball spectacular.
Max the Terrier had done this trip countless times. Sitting up front like a pro, no motions to be seen.
The others were just a bit more curious. Bless.